Patient – Frequently Asked Questions

Genetic testing uses laboratory methods to look at your genes, which are the DNA instructions you inherit from your mother and your father. Genetic tests may be used to identify increased risks of health problems, to choose treatments, or to assess responses to treatments.

There are many different types of genetic tests. Genetic tests can help to:

  • Diagnose disease
  • Identify gene changes that are responsible for an already diagnosed disease
  • Determine the severity of a disease
  • Guide doctors in deciding on the best medicine or treatment to use for certain individuals
  • Identify gene changes that may increase the risk to develop a disease
  • Identify gene changes that could be passed on to children
  • Screen newborn babies for certain treatable conditions

Genetic test results can be hard to understand, however specialists like geneticists and genetic counselors can help explain what results might mean to you and your family. Because genetic testing tells you information about your DNA, which is shared with other family members, sometimes a genetic test result may have implications for blood relatives of the person who had testing.

A genetic disorder is a disease caused in whole or in part by a change in the DNA sequence away from the normal sequence. Genetic disorders can be caused by a mutation in one gene (monogenic disorder), by mutations in multiple genes (multifactorial inheritance disorder), by a combination of gene mutations and environmental factors, or by damage to chromosomes (changes in the number or structure of entire chromosomes, the structures that carry genes).

Pharmacogenomics uses information about a person’s genetic makeup, or genome, to choose the drugs and drug doses that are likely to work best for that particular person.

Pharmacogenomic research has changed the “one size fits all” approach to drug assessment and opened the door to more personalized approaches to using and developing drugs. Depending on your genetic makeup, some drugs may work more or less effectively for you than they do in other people. Likewise, some drugs may produce more or fewer side effects in you than in someone else. In the near future, doctors will be able to routinely use information about your genetic makeup to choose those drugs and drug doses that offer the greatest chance of helping you.

Individuals cannot order tests themselves, due to state regulatory requirements, but if you are interested in having a specific laboratory test performed, please ask your healthcare provider if the test is appropriate for you, and if he/she can order the test(s) for you. To facilitate your discussion, it might be helpful to bring your healthcare provider a printed copy of the brochure or page from our website where you learned about the test.

The diagnostic reports we provide offer one piece of the information that your healthcare provider can use to create an individualized treatment plan for you. He/she will use our analysis to help guide the selection of the medication or treatment that best meets your specific needs. With Gibson, your healthcare provider can identify which medications may be more effective and may be less likely to have unwanted side effects.

We hold compliance and lab safety to the highest standard, producing accurate qualitative and quantitative analyses in the shortest span of time, without compromising quality. We stand at the forefront of infectious disease, toxicology and genetics, developing new methods in partnership with world-class institutions delivering results you can trust.

Yes. Gibson Diagnostic Labs takes privacy and security very seriously. That’s why we analyze all diagnostic samples at our own accredited lab, so we can ensure the quality and security of your test. Your genetic information is private and protected through various federal laws including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) that ensure the security of your personal and genetic information.

By law, minors may be tested with permission and consent granted by parent or legal guardian as applicable by law.

We encourage patients to obtain their test results from their ordering physician or other authorized healthcare provider. Results can be obtained directly from the laboratory through a specialized authentication process. Please call 855.890.9589 to begin the process.

In some states, existing laws require healthcare providers (HCPs) to obtain informed consent for certain laboratory tests. Due to changing state laws and regulations, it is the HCP’s responsibility to verify whether they practice in a state where informed consent is required prior to ordering laboratory tests.

Our diagnostic tests are designed to help healthcare providers make more precise decisions, resulting in more effective treatments, more appropriate screenings, and ultimately improved patient outcomes. Gibson Diagnostic Lab’s precision leads to an overall cost savings to the healthcare system by either reducing upfront spend, eliminating unnecessary therapies and related comorbidities, or by providing clinical improvements in disease prevention, survival, and patient satisfaction. Further our trusted results help patients to better manage their care, understand their options, and pursue appropriate medical and healthcare options suitable to their financial situation.

A healthcare provider may include a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) with a pre-authorization request, claim submission, or appeal to facilitate the insurance review process for the benefit of the patient. Our experience with insurance companies is such that we encourage healthcare providers to cover as many of the following points as possible that are applicable to the patient:

  • Explanation that the requested genetic test has been ordered by a physician
  • Explanation of the medical necessity for the test requested
  • If family history is cited, give as much family history as possible
  • Patient’s diagnosis and prognosis
  • Explanation that genetic test is recognized as appropriate for inclusion in this patient’s treatment regimen
  • Treatment plan, including specific statements about anticipated impact of the genetic test on the medical management of patient

The EOB is not a bill, but it may show pending payments or even a claim denial by the insurance company. When the insurance company processes a claim, the policyholder is sent an EOB notice. Sometimes the insurance company denies a claim because they want more information such as medical records, which may be information only the healthcare provider’s office can provide. Once additional requested information is obtained, Gibson Diagnostic Labs will send it directly to the insurance company, and the patient often does not need to take any action. If there are any questions about the procedures or the charges on the EOB, the patient should contact Gibson Diagnostic Lab’s Billing Department.

Your genes may affect the way medications work in your body—some medications could work better with your unique genetic profile and some medicines might not work at all for you. Your genes also can affect how quickly your body breaks down (metabolizes) medicine and gets medicine into your bloodstream.